*I received a free copy of To Lure a Proper Lady from Loveswept via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *To Lure a Proper Lady by Ashlyn MacNamara
Series: Duke-Defying Daughters #1
Published by Loveswept on 29 March 2016
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Mystery
When Lady Elizabeth Wilde and her sisters are summoned once again to their chronically anxious father’s deathbed, she’s shocked to find that his worries are at last justified. He’s terribly ill, and Lizzie suspects poison. But when she seeks help from the Bow Street Runners, her request is answered by a rough-hewn rogue known only as Dysart. Though his irreverent charm by turns shocks and captivates her, a man of Dysart’s background is an altogether inappropriate choice for a duke’s daughter—isn’t he?
Although Dysart has his reasons to disdain polite society, the promise of supplemental income from a noble’s coffers is too tempting to deny. But if Dysart means to apprehend the culprit who poisoned the duke, he’ll need to avoid any and all distractions—like the delicious swish of Lady Elizabeth’s hips. Yet as the investigation begins to unearth secrets he’d rather remain hidden, Dysart must decide at a moment’s notice whether to hold Elizabeth at arm’s length . . . or pull her dangerously close.
To Lure a Proper Lady is a quick, humorous and sexy read – I loved Lizzie, she was definitely a proper lady in many ways, but quite forward in others…
To Lure a Proper Lady is an amazing mix of family obligations, mystery and forbidden romance, with a main character who is much stronger than she thinks. When Lizzie thinks someone is trying to poison her father, the Duke, she goes on her own to Bow Street to hire a runner, and ends up with Dysart coming to the ducal seat for a fortnight to investigate during a house-party. They are both smart, but there are too many possibilities to follow, plus the attraction they feel for each other is very difficult to put on the back burner while taking care of more pressing matters.
Because the house party has been set up to marry off the Duke’s three daughters, To Lure a Proper Lady also has its share of humour, because neither of the three sisters really want to get married. Lizzie is the oldest, and expected to marry her cousin because he’s the Duke’s heir. Snowley, however, is both boring and a little dense, and Lizzie would go to quite extreme lengths to not marry him.
The mystery of the story thickens as To Lure a Proper Lady unfolds, and so does the romance between Dysart and Lizzie. She’s quite bold for an innocent society girl, and I loved that she was so curious. Dysart was definitely doing his best to resist her, but she made that more than a little difficult. For the most part, the story is quite slow-paced, and that works very well. However, towards the end, everything speeds up before the climax of the story, and I couldn’t quite read fast enough to get to the good parts I wanted. The culmination of both the mystery and the romance was dramatic, and Lizzie once more showed how strong she was.
In this new series, MacNamara expertly weaves the mystery and the romance to make an intricate whole, with well-developed characters and a solid plot. I can’t wait to see what is up next in the Duke-Defying Daughters series. Written in third person perspective, from Lizzie’s point of view, and with some great dialogues, the story was both enjoyable and hot!
His hands clamped down over hers, engulfing them with warmth. The roughened calluses on his palms pressed into the soft skin over the backs of her hands. She suddenly understood the dictate that young ladies wear gloves.
She closed her eyes and rested against him, breathing in the scents of male intermingled with a fleeting hint of tobacco and brandy. This. This is what I want.
She clamped her lips shut on a series of descriptive terms she might apply to Barrows and Dysart in equal measure, most of them inappropriate to pronounce in public and none of them helpful in identifying a person. a thick skull didn’t show on the outside, after all.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: